3
Sun, Sea and SOS!
It's very hard to get the last boy scout, Smugder on a ride out, but we managed to get out after some gentle persuasion from the bosses. I'd been looking forward to a ride to the coast and a spot of sea fishing for weeks. Destination Highcliff in Dorset.
After loading the bike with tackle, dead bait and packed lunch I rode to Smudger's smoked damaged pit. Smugder was ready to go, key in the ignition and then nothing! No power! Great start!
Julie offered me a cup of Joe and I got Treacle, that was great as I'd only had an hours kip on the sofa after a night shift. Meanwhile Smudger had charged the battery and bingo! The beast fires.

Without delay we rode in glorious sunshine to Farnham service station to fill up and continued to charge the bike with a blast down the river valley road. We were off to Alton cruising the back roads to the M3 at Winchester. The weather changed as we climbed over the downs. It went very overcast but the forecast was sunshine. Bummer! We join the M3 car parking lot for the third of a mile before exiting the mayhem at Winchester Sainsburys for a pit stop, a fag and so Smudger could buy a flask. That was broken too!! Afterwards we were back on the road heading for Romsey in the countryside backwaters. All the problems with Smudgers bike were now a distant memory. We rejoined the M27 at junction 2 and another traffic jam. That's just great ! Curb crawling all the way to junction 1 for Lyndhurst. It was freedom as we left the motorway, until we joined the caravan club posse for Lyndhurst. This was a good time to stop and chat of our experiences sat in tailbacks and light up to pass the time. Soon we were in the clear and riding through the New Forest. It got colder and colder like a winters day. Surprised ! The air was full of moisture and we both seemed to get rather wet.
Finally we reached Highcliff.

I unpacked my bike as Smudger rushed off to fill his new flask at the Cliffhanger Coffee Bar. £6 for gnats pee but it was wet and sure Smudger was happy. We made our way down to the beach. High tide! This was great as we had our own private cove. I stripped down to my trunks, (not a pretty sight!!) before having a snack. We were after that monster catch! Jaws would have been ideal but all we only managed to catch was seaweed!! But we where a highly spirited pair of idiots as the tide was going out fast. We spent the afternoon fishing in glorious sunshine and crystal sparkling water. Oh ! That was my bottle of sparkling water exploding over me. I soon dried off. There was a moment of silence or was it bliss... No nagging or no kids. Ah !!!    
As the hours melted away we decide to pack up and make our way back to the bikes. The climb back to the cliff top was hard going for both of us, lugging all the tackle and chairs up the cliff path.

All packed and ready to go Smudger was in panic mode again “ I 've  got no spark !” he declared turning the ignition key on.”How can that be ?” Dazed and confused Smudger phoned Julie to break the news as I informed Kate of our delay. Smudger tells me that Julie has called the SOS Motorcycle Recovery and would be about an hour. As that hour past I was starting to get really sleepy and could have done with a cup of Julies treacle right about now!!
Within the hour the SOS recovery man was on the scene. His diagnoses was flat battery but even with a boost from his charger it was only getting 6 volt instead of the required 14 volts.“Looks like your coming home with me mate” said the SOS recovery man. The SOS man and myself were of the same opinion ........you must have left your bike in park mode draining the battery. Who's the Dodo? I watched them push the bike into the back of the van and said my goodbyes.    

As the light was fading I decided to ride back on the motorway. Quick and easy M27, M3 but was in need of fuel. I knew that there was a garage in Lyndhurst on route home, easy. Bugger me! If the garage wasn't closed!!
Now I was in panic mode as my warning light had just come on for petrol. The next garage was on the M27 Services just before the M3 junction. Would I need to call the RAC?  Pheweee! Made it...Tank full of gas and i'm out of ere racing for home.

I finally got home safely with my ears ringing from the noise of my exhaust pipes and found a14 inch pizza waiting. Thanks to Kate. Lovely to be home. As for the last boy scout, I' ve yet to see him, but did see the SOS recovery van!!        

 GHOST.
 TVAC Helicopter
Carl (Ghost) is our Charity Rep and does an enormous amount of work collecting milk bottle tops and mobile phones for TVAC, on our behalf.